The last five years have been the, “coming of age,” period for technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, mixed reality (MR), and blockchain. By late 2017, these technologies gained enough maturity and stability for use in industrial settings. As such, 2018 is shaping-up to be a pivotal year for these promising technologies to be applied in several realms of supply chain, such as end-to-end visibility, product tracking, fraud, settlements, compliance, productivity, worker safety, and delivery speed. Here are seven key trends that are driving innovation, change and agility in today’s supply chains.
No. 5 – 3D printing will continue its steady march into prominence
3D printing has been gaining adoption in many industries like automotive, aerospace, medical devices, fashion, and manufacturing industries. According to a recent PwC study, 71 percent of manufacturers have adopted 3D printing. The need for moving and storing inventory is diminished as 3D orienting enables local production, versus global production.
In 2018, 3D printing will continue its gradual adoption path. Its influence on supply chain operation dynamics will continue to evolve.